Life in the Brigade
No matter what your background, chances are the living arrangements at the Academy are different from anything you have experienced. The day begins with reveille and ends with “lights out.” You stand watches, march to meals and wear uniforms for almost everything you do. You and your roommates must keep your room ready for a military inspection at any time and keep your uniforms in regulation condition. Demerits are awarded for a room or uniform that is not in proper order or “squared away.”
All midshipmen live in Bancroft Hall, a huge dormitory complex. You are assigned to a room with one or more midshipmen and live in close proximity to about 150 other midshipmen in your company. Men and women midshipmen from all four classes make up each company. Each company has its own area called the “wardroom” for meetings and recreation. Midshipmen rooms are wired for Internet access, closed circuit TV and telephones.
The company is the most important unit of the more than 4,500-member Brigade of Midshipmen. Many of your most rewarding experiences at the Naval Academy are those you share with members of your company. You eat, sleep, study, drill, play and compete as teams with your company mates. You learn to trust and rely on each other. The company experience also gives you an idea of how things work in the Navy and Marine Corps, where small-unit cohesion, teamwork and morale are as important in peacetime operations as in combat. Each year, companies compete for the title, ‘Color Company,’ the best in the brigade. The year-long color competition among the 30 companies is one way company spirit is built. Companies accumulate points for academic, professional and intramural excellence. The company with the most points is recognized at the Color Parade during Commissioning Week and then enjoys special privileges for the next year, including the honor of representing the Naval Academy at official functions such as presidential inaugurations.